Maternal Care Centre – Indigenous Birth Support Worker – Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital
Indigenous Birth Support Worker Program
The Maternal Care Centre, located within the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, offers First Nations, Métis and Inuit women the support of an Indigenous Birth Support Worker. As part of our commitment to the Truth & Reconciliation – Calls To Action. This free program is an initial first step towards re-establishing trust.
What can an Indigenous Birth Support Worker do for you?
- Help pregnant mothers feel safe, comfortable and well-informed to voice opinions, ask questions and make requests.
- Advocate for the mother, her partner and surrounding family to ensure the memory of the birth experience is positive and protected.
- Provide care using a holistic approach, using the medicine wheel to incorporate balance and to ensure cultural traditions and ceremonies are respected.
- Provide prenatal, labour and early postpartum support.
Benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Knowledgeable in the history of Indigenous people and their birthing practices.
- Honour and respect cultural protocols:
- Prayers for a safe birth
- Smudging ceremonies
- Assistance with developing a birth plan which may include traditional medicines, song and connection to Elders, Knowledge Keepers or other spiritual advisors.
- Provide physical, emotional, spiritual and visual comforting measures.
- Helping mothers and families making informed choices based on their values.
- Creating a positive atmosphere for bonding between baby, mom, and all other family members.
- Training in breastfeeding, early childhood education and nutrition.
- Providing resources and additional supports if needed.
- Promoting effective communication between families and their healthcare team.
How are Indigenous Birth Support Workers trained?
The Birth Support Workers working in the Maternal Care Centre have received training that was developed in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Gabriel Dumont Technical Institute. This training incorporates knowledge of traditional birthing practices and follows the educational standards outlined by DONA International.
- DONA International’s mission is to promote high quality birth and postpartum support by setting the standard for the profession through evidence-based training and certification for doulas of diverse backgrounds.
How do I get connected to an Indigenous Birth Support Worker?
Referral to our program is voluntary and free, and can be made by:
- Asking your healthcare provider to complete the referral form before you have your baby.
- Calling the Indigenous Birth Support Worker Program and leaving a message. We will call you within 2 days of receiving the message.
- Letting the nurse staff know that you are interested in this program upon your arrival to admitting at the hospital.
If you are planning to have your baby in Saskatoon, completing the referral form prior to coming to the hospital gives our support workers an opportunity to connect with you and to get to know you prior to your baby’s birth.
Please be advised that this program is available on a first come, first serve basis.
How to get to the 3rd floor Maternal Care Centre at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital
- Use the main entrance located on Level 5 of the parkade. Head directly to the main elevators in the lobby, select 3rd floor.
- If you park on another level, take the stairs or elevator to the main floor and follow the signs to Maternal Care Centre on 3rd floor.
- If you are arriving by taxi or drop off/pick up, the driver may enter the parkade and go to the front doors of JPCH without charge for a maximum of 20 minutes.
- Short term(90 min.) parking is available directly in front of the hospital.
*Registration is open 24 hours/7 days week.